Friday, November 4, 2011


In the past, I have at times regretted buying the Lionel Milwaukee Road Standard gauge set issue in the 1990's, but was unsure of the reason why.  After pondering this issue for more time then I should have, I figured uot why.  The Engine and tender are absolutely gorgeous.  It was the passenger cars.  And not the fact that the passenger cars were streamlined and lacked a clerestory.  It was the putride grey that Lionel decided to paint the roofs of these cars.  I tried an experiment and painted my entire set's roofs black.  It makes a better set in my mind and solves any issues I had with the appearance of the set.  Take a look,

I hope you agree, the black roof makes this car look far more attractive.


Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Super 381 in Action-Milwaukee Road

This engine is great!  After what seemed like years of waiting, the Super 381 finally hit the tracks on my basement layout.  Look at how nicely this engine runs.  The ngine had very little clearance and actually hit most, if not all, of my lock ons, so I had to grind them down to remove the clearance issue. 

I have posted a photo of the engine. . . . .
And also a video of the set in action . . . .

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Rich Art Bi-Polar Gauge one conversion

This is my most recent project. . . . .

This engine originally started as a Gauge One Rich Art Bi Polar.  If you are not aware of these engines, they are really a beautiful piece, in their original form.  I have found, after years of searching for a Rich Art Bi Polar engine in good working condition, they are VERY hard to find.   Apparently they were made in Gauge one, but the versions I have witnessed in the past were in standard gauge.  This engine is very long and hinged in the middle.  In their purest form, these engines have two eight wheel drive trucks, one under each section of the main cab.  Its wheel configuration is 4-8-8-4.   

When this engine found its way to my home, it was in gauge one (which was really a non issue since the only wheels I have used from the original would be the lead and trailing trucks).  One way to convert the lead and trailing trucks was to super glue a wheel to the existing gauge one trucks, which expands the spacing between the wheels to convert them into standard gauge.  I have attached  picture of the truck wheels. . . . . .

I have also converted the drive train from gauge one, which runs on DC to standard gauge, which runs on AC with the use of two McCoy trolley motors, which have been placed in Roberts' lines 100 series trucks.  To add length to the drive trucks, I have attached two Roberts lines trucks, bot relying upon the middle axles, making these trucks a 6 wheels drive train.  I hope these photos further explain this conversion . . . .

Here is a clip of the engine running. . . . .

A real beauty.   

Friday, June 10, 2011

Dehanes Super Chief Sets

Here is a Dehanes "Tranportation Milestones" Super Chief F-3 engine, observation car and Vista Dome car.  I know that these are an acquired taste for a serious traditional standard gauge collector, but this set is a real gem and its nice to see someone who creates standard gauge engines other then those created by Lionel, Ives or American Flyer.  Kind of reminds me when Lionel ventured back into standard gauge engines back in the 1990's and they created the Hiawatha and the Commodore Vanderbilt.  If these engines had only been better received, it may have led to some pretty awesome standard gauge engines.  I don't know how anyone who is into standard gauge doesn't have BOTH the hiawatha and the commodore.  The six wheel drivers alone are worth the purchase prices.  Add in the detailing on the engines and the beautiful cars and it defies logic as to why any serious collector would not have these sets, especially since you can pick up these for $1700 to $1900 on ebay any day of the week. 

Maybe someone can explain to me the allure behind a Lionel 408 because I just don't get it. 

Standard Gauge Dreyfus Hudson

In case you have never seen this standard gauge beauty, it was created by John Kresse and I believe painted by John Harmon.  My understanding is that John Kresse created five (5) Norfolk an Western "J" engines, five (5) Dreyfus Hudson engines and four (4) GS-4 Southern Pacific Daylight engines.  These are truly beauties and a most see by any serious standard gauge collector. 

Friday, February 18, 2011

Updated F-3 Diesel in N&W color scheme

In an earlier post I posted pictures of an F-3 Diesel engine made by Bob Thon a while back.  When I bought it, it didn't run all that well.  I have lock-tited the set screws on the axles, which was the root of the problem and it now runs like a champ!  This is a made up color scheme since the only F-3 Diesel engines are a blue color scheme which does not match the custom made N&W Powhatan Arrow cars.